I've been drawn to the Templar for a long time because I like spears and having self-healing and wearing heavy armour while healing, but I've never been satisfied with the class. The closest I had gotten was dual resto staff with heavy armour in AvA, but obviously that doesn't work well for leveling or non-dungeon PVE, and I grew dissatisfied quickly.
Last night, I tried something new. Due to the obvious lack of tanks (per usual in MMOs), I had been thinking of making my Templar a tank. Having a split tank/healer is rough, though, because you need different gear and a wide skill point spread, so I decided to give up on healing on my Templar and focus on tanking. That meant I still needed some DPS for soloing PVE for leveling, though, and after a bit of thought, I decided to go with dual wield due to the recent discovery that dual wield results in higher spell damage, which seemed like it would synergize well with Templar magicka attacks.
Note: This is at level 26
Still full heavy armour, with bar 1 as sword and board, and bar 2 as dual wield. I reset everything and began with skills.
Bar 1: Sword and Board
- Pierce Armor (One Hand and Shield)
- Deep Slash (One Hand and Shield)
- Puncturing Sweep (Aedric Spear)
- Shielded Assault (One Hand and Shield)
- Absorb Magic (One Hand and Shield)
- Ult: Werewolf
I'll likely drop Shielded Assault once I level up some more skills, but this is working very well for me so far. Pierce Armor reduces armor and spell resist, which works well with Puncturing Sweep, and Deep Slash reduces the damage done by 3 enemies. I try to keep Absorb Magic up most of the time, and the bonus to block from it is nice.
Bar 2: Dual Wield
- Focused Charge (Aedric Spear)
- Rending Slashes (Dual Wield)
- Rapid Strikes (Dual Wield)
- Reflective Light (Dawn's Wrath)
- Solar Barrage (Dawn's Wrath)
- Ult: Nova (Dawn's Wrath)
Keeping an Aedric Spear ability on both bars means that my block is always improved by 15% and crit damage by 10%. Dual wield increases spell damage for me by about 120 over sword and shield, and that works well with Reflective Light and Solar Barrage.
In 1h/shield at level 26, I was hitting around 800 DPS. I'm averaging probably 1-1.3k with dual wield and regularly hitting 1.9k if the enemies will stay together for AoE from Solar Barrage. That buff to spell crit from Reflective Light is really nice.
On top of everything else, I just look cool.
Once I had my skills in place, I turned to my ability points. I took a hybrid approach and focused on having enough resource (stam, magicka) to hit everything on a bar twice before needing to heavy attack to regen. I also wanted about 9k HP without food because that's about the hardest I can expect to get hit at this level. As an Imperial, I get a nice boost to health and stamina, but my armour enchantments are spread out because I'm mostly using random gear I find from quests or dungeons. This puts me at around 6,200 magicka, 9,000 health, and 7,300 stamina. So far, I haven't run into resource issues, and because of the hybrid approach, it means when I'm out of stamina, I can spam magicka attacks.
Health and other defensive stats go up quite a bit when I switch to shield, but spell damage and crit go way down.
I also finally got a werewolf bite last night. This is something I've been wanting to do for months but haven't been able to catch, and that improves my in-combat stam regen quite a bit. Between that and the sign of the Tower (increasing max stamina), I'm in good shape.
I think this really goes to show the flexibility of the classes. It's no surprise that Templars can tank and/or DPS, but being a hybrid-stat, heavy armour wearing, dual wielding guy with a fair amount of magic damage mixed in pushes the envelope a bit. I really like the mix of weapon and magic that Templar affords, especially because all the abilities are instant. It results in very fast play with either shield rush or focused charge, and effectively no downtime.
It took a bit of work to find a way to enjoy this class, but I'm having a lot of fun with it now :-)